Metro Policy

Banking on Green Growth in Connecticut
June 28, 2011

and Devashree Saha One reason the U.S. clean economy is struggling to get big fast, as we note in our upcoming report “Sizing the Clean Economy,” is the absence of sufficient, affordable capital with the right tolerance for risk to help scale up new technologies. One response to such problems is the creation of “green banks”—emerging technology deployment finance entities aimed at lowering the cost of capital for innovative projects.

Houston: Where "Big Oil" and "Big Green" Meet
June 28, 2011

With roughly 128,000 fossil fuel economy jobs in recent Census records, metropolitan Houston has the nation’s largest regional workforce in the fossil fuels industries. Yet, it is becoming a leader in the clean economy. Glimpses of this can be seen in gradual shifts in infrastructure and consumption.

Government Jobs and the Economic Recovery in Metropolitan America (Updated June 24, 2011)
June 27, 2011

The current edition of Brookings’ MetroMonitor shows that government job growth is associated with the economic performance of America’s metropolitan areas since the beginning of the recession. Among the nation’s 100 largest metro areas, the 20 that have done the best since the recession started (taking into account recovery of jobs, output, unemployment rates, and house prices) are Augusta, Austin, Boston,   Buffalo, Columbus, Dallas, El Paso, Honolulu, Jackson, Knoxville, Little Rock, Madison, McAllen, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Pittsburgh, Rochester, San Antonio, and Washington. Of th

Apple’s Form and Function Meets Location Efficiency
June 24, 2011

with Louis Liss When it comes to design, there’s no question that Apple knows how to impress. Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently addressed the Cupertino, CA city council to pitch a new corporate campus to accommodate the company’s burgeoning workforce. The new facility will be a circular architectural wonder. It will triple green space, add needed office area, and produce its own energy. Critics have cited the new campus as a model for better architecture in Silicon Valley as well as a green marvel. But just as important as how the building is built is where it is built.

The New Yorker Hearts Suburbs
June 23, 2011

By most accounts, American cities today are considerably safer, cleaner, wealthier, and better run than a couple of decades ago. The phrase “urban crisis” has lost much of its former currency. More and more international firms have products and practices focused on “cities,” a recognition of cities’ growing market power domestically and globally. And just this week, cities reached the apex of American elite culture--as the subject of an essay in this week’s New Yorker (subscription required for full text). The occasion is the (somewhat) recent publication of several notable books on the subje

Government Jobs and the Economic Recovery in Metropolitan America
June 22, 2011

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The Cable Box Ate My Budget
June 21, 2011

If you’re like my family, you have a DVR in your house. Those wonderful little boxes of commercial-skipping, season-passing, "I’ll watch 'The Killing' when I want" goodness. Well, it turns out those magical little boxes are wreaking havoc on our disposable income. Via the always-on-point Lifehacker, air conditioning is not the only component in your surging summer utility bill. Yes, our television addiction is another seemingly unlikely culprit.

Can Foreign Investment Revive U.S. Manufacturing?
June 20, 2011

Amid growing concerns over Greek debt and the probability of another economic slowdown, the administration quietly launched SelectUSA last week, an initiative designed to attract foreign direct investment to the United States. While announced at a Business Roundtable event, SelectUSA went relatively unnoticed by the media, far less so than the highly-publicized National Export Initiative of 2010. However, this does not mean that foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States is less important than growing U.S.

Is Pawlenty's Growth Goal More Metro than National?
June 17, 2011

Last week, Republican presidential candidate and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty set a “big, positive goal” of 5 percent annual economic growth for a decade. Donald Marron points out that the nation as a whole hasn’t achieved this goal since the 1958-1968 decade and explains why it’s highly unlikely to do so in the near future.  But maybe Pawlenty, drawing on his gubernatorial experience, is extrapolating from the growth records of states, and especially metropolitan areas, which have sometimes achieved 5 percent growth even during periods of sluggish national growth. Take the 2001-2009

Metropolitan Boston ... #winning
June 17, 2011

with Carey Anne Nadeau With the Bruins’ defeat of riot-prone Canucks (who’d have thought?) Wednesday night in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Boston area has now laid claim to a championship in each major American sports league (NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB) within the last seven years. The New England Patriots won their last Super Bowl in 2005; the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2007; and the Boston Celtics won the NBA title in 2008.  Our analysis confirms that, indeed, Boston is the first metro area to achieve the distinction of having held all four major sports titles within such a sho